Study recommends complete overhaul of RS Secretariat

New Delhi: A study has recommended complete overhaul of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat with specific delegation of administrative and financial powers, reorganization of sections with well-defined functions and outputs, as well as for quick decision making and delivery.

The first comprehensive study on ‘System Improvement’ in the Upper House Secretariat recommends delivery of services in a transparent, monitorable and accountable manner.

The study report containing around 130 recommendations was submitted to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, who started the study in January this year. The study also covered the working of committee sections and recommended increasing their tenure from the current one year to two years.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat, which came into existence in 1952 with about 200 officers and staff, has now grown with the needs of the times to 1,700 personnel with 10 different services. The review of the working of the Secretariat, carried out so far by the Parliamentary Pay Committees and some internal committees, was limited to the requirement of the employees, their salaries.

Considering the importance of field visits by the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committees, their field visits have been recommended to be increased to three visits and 15 days for a maximum of 10 days in a year from the present two visits.

Considering the efforts of the Committees to prepare the Report and their import and implications, a Committee Time has been recommended to discuss the selected Major Reports in Parliament for a wider elaboration of the contents of the Report. The recommendations include clear delegation of administrative and financial powers so that about 75 per cent of the issues are settled at the lower and middle levels in a 10 layer hierarchy which is appropriate by removing the 4 to 5 layers presently in the Secretariat.

The study, conducted by former Secretary General P P K Ramacharyulu, Advisor, suggested the way forward for quantification of output in respect of every aspect of the working of the Rajya Sabha, its committees and the Secretariat and additional mandates for each of the services to present a transparent account. for their work in the public domain.

The study concluded that most of the decisions can be taken at lower and middle levels and accordingly, recommended administrative delegation that such delegation is not defined and has not been done so far.